Lessons on creating an effective nonprofit newsletter: Back on My Feet 12.5.10 0
by in Etc.

Our co-founder Christopher Wink led an editorial strategy development at Back on My Feet, a national running-based program to combat homelessness. Read this entire strategy here.

Pull media, like social networks are incredibly powerful, but the power of the push media of email hasn’t much waned.

Nonprofits, companies and organizations still rely on its ability to land in the inboxes of busy readers, consumers and supporters. Since announcing that I’m leaving Back on My Feet, I’ve taken a bit deeper a look at the metrics behind the monthly newsletter and blasts that remains a large part of our outreach efforts.

I was proud of some progress we worked to make with our use of email marketing during my time there, though I didn’t find the time to spend nearly as much time focusing on further development as I would have liked (by offering beta tests and such).

More importantly, there are a dozen take aways, some of which may seem intuitive, that I can now comfortably call lessons:

  • Subject lines should ideally be between 5-10 words, preferably with a call to action — Give people an easily recognized reason to open your blast and do it in fewer than 30 or 40 characters.
  • I pushed for our blasts to be sent 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, or as near to it as possible, for similar sentiment as this. — Timing is nearly everything (We sent our national blast the first Tuesday of every month), and consistency helps.
  • MORE
TL:DR: E-mail may be old school, but it's the best option for non-profits. | Tweet This
Christopher Wink is the cofounder of publishing consultancy firm Technically Media and its technology news network Technically Philly. Wink has reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro, Philadelphia CityPaper, SportsIllustrated.com and other publications. The journalist lives in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. He maintains a personal blog here and tweets from @christopherwink.

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